Click to read about the best places to eat on campus, freshman packing tips, and how to keep in touch with friends.

Reasons for going to war need clarifying

The time for practical debate about the issue of war in Iraq is all but over. Sans some miracle from heaven on high, the compassionate conservative who runs our country is going to unleash a fury not seen since he unleashed it on Afghanistan.

To ask whether the United States is justified to enter into conflict with Iraq is moot. It’s going to happen. Rather, I ask myself what our motivation could possibly be for participating in an action that could end in the deaths of tens of thousands of rather innocent people.

Perhaps our president is interested in regime change. If this is his position, then how can he see himself as having the mandate to remove Saddam Hussein? Wouldn’t that mandate fall in the hands of Iraq’s neighbors, namely Iraq’s Arab neighbors? Even in the Middle East, Iraq is a hated regime.

Or if not Iraq’s neighbors, why not keep the issue where it legally belongs, according to the U.S. signature on the U. N. charter that dates back more than 50 years?

And why the urgency to go into Iraq right now? If Hussein has been such an imminent and evil force in the world for years, then why didn’t former President Bill Clinton remove his regime from power? Could it have been that he knew the threat wasn’t as imminent as the present administration is making it out to be?

President George W. Bush proclaims that Hussein must be removed because of atrocities perpetrated on his own people. For once, the man and I agree. Hussein is a monster, the antithesis of what human beings should strive to be.

However, if this is the true motivation, shouldn’t this have happened sooner? Hussein gassed Kurds in Iraq in the 1980s. This gave three previous presidents, one being George W. Bush’s father, the chance to remove him. Why didn’t it happen then? Is it possible that Hussein, once a useful puppet in the region, has overstayed his welcome?

Is removing Hussein simply a stepping stone in the war on terror? If so, then why isn’t this angle being sold to the American public better? Why are the CIA and FBI still unwilling to join the White House in saying there is a definite connection between Hussein and al-Qaida?

Is it because there is no connection? Or does Bush assume that removing Hussein will appease a public in search of justice for the Sept. 11 attacks?

And finally, will a pre-emptive strike prevent a domestic terrorist attack or provoke one? Retaliation for an action that the Arab world perceives as inexcusable is undeniable. Could a catastrophic loss of life in our own country be justified by removing Hussein?

All the reasons the president has presented as reasons for attacking Iraq have serious doubts. Could the real reason be that Hussein forces people to walk on his father’s face to enter buildings in Baghdad, to spit on his picture? Can it be that Hussein dispatched a group of assassins to kill George Bush after he left office?

Could the real issue at hand be the millions of barrels of oil that will invariably fall under U.S. control after Hussein is removed?

The fact is, an attack on Iraq is not justified and is distinctly un-American.

Joe Roma is a junior majoringin political science.